Tuesday, July 29, 2008
Here is Doug's blog.
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About this blog:This site was not developed with the intention of drawing a large number of visitors using trivial methods and shallowness. There is rejoicing among the angels of God over even one sinner that repents and believes in Jesus Christ. (Luke 15:10) If, for as long as this site exists, only one sinner is led to repentance and belief in Christ with the aid of the material presented here, the purpose of this site has been served.
For those of you who are frequent readers of Apprising.org, you've noticed in the past few days that the site is no longer there. What you might not have known is the reason why it's not. You can read how Purpose Driven Apologist Richard Abanes threatened Ken Silva's internet company with the law if they were not going to take down an article many places, but Ingrid at Slice has a pretty good summary of the situation.
I had the opportunity to talk with Ken for at least an hour and a half yesterday in which he expressed his thoughts about losing the domain to his internet ministry with this clear violation of 1Cor. 6:1-8. I can say conclusively after reviewing the facts that the termination was completely unwarranted. The reason the site was pulled was because of an article that was posted on Apprising in 2005. (Yes, that's right... 2005.) Abanes was making claims of slander and libel in this particular article, and the ISP IPOWER (who I would not only not recommend to people but would strongly advise not signing up with after they also lost all of Slice about a year ago without any apology to Ingrid whatsoever) sent Ken an email saying basically that he needed to pull the article or he'd be pulled. Ken rightfully didn't budge. Since the site is now gone, there was little hope that article would be available for others to view unless it was pulled in a cached form, but thanks to archive.org's Way Back Machine, the article has been salvaged in its entirety. You can read this article called "A Pastor's Assessment of Richard Abanes" in the email below and judge if there is libel or slander in it.
I received this from Ken a little earlier today. His wishes are expressed here for anyone who is wanting to help clear Ken's name of any kind of "slander" or "libel".:
A couple of quick things for now because I've really been hit with a lot of stuff lately.
1) The article "A Pastor's Assessment of Richard Abanes" can be linked from here:
You have my permission to forward this to any contacts you have whom you think might be interested. The idea would be to get this out as far as possible and then people can see what Richard Abanes think is "slander."
2) I've been told that there is press release from "Coalition of Concerned Bloggers" about this Abanes issue here:
Posted by Lane Chaplin at 9:40:00 AM
Posted by Lane Chaplin at 7:34:00 PM
I'm afraid the words I have to share now will not do this subject justice. I know I don't have adequate words that can express the gratitude I have and the impact Jim Bublitz and his blog have had on my life. When I was wallowing in the "mega-church megalomania mentality" during that stint, his blog was instrumental in showing me the errors of the movement and how I had strayed off from what the Bible actually teaches. For that, I am forever, eternally grateful. Recently Jim posted a piece on his website that you can read here that explains that he has to shut down Oldtruth.com due to "Non Alcoholic Cirrhosis of the Liver" which will require a liver transplant in order to survive beyond the next several years. Needless to say, I am saddened, but I know that God's will and purpose is perfect. All things work together to those who love Him and are called according to His purpose. Jim meets both these criteria thanks to God's grace alone. Though we may not understand why certain things happen to us, we must never confuse eternity with this temporary life full of struggles and hardships. I am sure Jim understands this at this very moment and would actually be the one reminding me of this first if we had spoken since the announcement. He is that kind of person. Please keep Jim and his family in your prayers.
HT: Ingrid at Slice
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Posted by Lane Chaplin at 3:04:00 PM
This is the first episode of Radio Free Geneva that has been put on Youtube. The purpose of RFG is to dispel the many caricatures, straw men, and misrepresentations that those who are opposed to Reformed Theology (ie. Calvinism) normally make when critiquing the other side. Lord willing, there will be more in the future that deal with different subjects.
Ergun Caner delivered a sermon a few years ago called "Why I am Predestined Not to be a Hyper-Calvinist." However, many Reformed folk thought the sermon would have been more aptly titled "Why I am Not Predestined to Represent the Side I am Critiquing Accurately." In this episode of Radio Free Geneva, James White deals with the many straw men and mischaracterizations that Ergun Caner promoted during this sermon and rectifies them. This episode is especially helpful because many of the arguments Caner brought up are many of the same that are brought up regularly by opponents of the doctrines of grace.
Here is the link to where you can buy the mp3 of this program for $1.73.
Here are links to where you can find out more information about how the debate that was supposed to be didn't occur. Start with 10/6/06 "Regarding the Lynchburg Situation" and work your way up.:
Here is some written correspondance between Ergun Caner and James White:
Here's the program:
(PS. Thanks for the HT, Doc. :) )
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Posted by Lane Chaplin at 10:44:00 PM
My friend, Josh Whipps (also known as Razorskiss to us in #pros), recently took upon himself the task of converting all of James White's Church History series from Real Media format to mp3. Here is the list of the 49 mps, and here they are for you to download individually and share.:
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Posted by Lane Chaplin at 7:54:00 PM
I realize that I said I wouldn't post until my stint at Slice this week was over, but I wanted to put this out nonetheless. My friend, Josh Rittenhouse, who runs Truth Matters recently put a blog post about his mother who is battling cancer and needs prayer and financial support. Josh has even had to sell his car to help meet the expenses. Please offer prayer and if you can and are led to give financial support for his mom's therapy, please do so as well. Here is his mother's dilemma written by Josh, himself.:
For those of you who do not know, my mother has been diagnosed with breast cancer. This is her 3rd bout with cancer. She's had a complete hysterectomy, she's had her entire colon removed and she's now had a double, radical mastectomy.
The good news: She is doing very well under the circumstances, she has stayed faithful and is in good spirits. She has completed her 12 weeks of chemotherapy at Hershey Medical Center and has completed her chemotherapy shots.
The bad news: My mother, Carol, must be on an oral chemo daily for the next 5 years which we unexpectedly found out insurance will not cover. Although we fought hard to get it covered, insurance will not cover it. Currently she is paying $5,000/year out of pocket for her medications alone. And now, in addition, she needs this oral chemo which is $300/month for the next 60 months. That's $8,600/year out of pocket with insurance just for medicine.
I am not writing this for any type of pity party. I am just stating the facts. We need help. I have sold my vehicle to help with her previous expenses and now this. Also, my father became disabled and now earns only a fraction of what he used to.
I am asking those of you that would like to help to possibly donate $5 toward her medications. If we could get 1000 people to donate, that would take care of almost an entire year's worth of medication. Although she must be on this medication for 5 years in total, she wants to take things one year at a time. 100% of all donations received will go directly toward her medical expenses.
Regardless of whether you would like to help her with her medical expenses, please pray for her throughout another tough trial in her life.
Posted by Lane Chaplin at 7:22:00 PM
Ingrid Schlueter of Slice of Laodicea and Crosstalk VCY America is going away on a trip this week and has asked me to look after her site while she's gone so the posts that would be here are going to be there this week. They may be posts that you've already seen here before, but I would like them to get to another audience who may not be familiar with them. If you have any suggestions as to a video or post you think others would be edified by and need to hear, feel free to post the suggestion in the comment box here. Until further notice (about a week) my posts will be there.
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Posted by Lane Chaplin at 10:12:00 PM
What is the doctrine of total depravity? Does it mean that men are as bad as they could possibly be? Does it mean that men can't make decisions such as which shirt they will wear for the day and so forth? James White discusses what the doctrine of total depravity actually means in this presentation and, again, dispels the rumors that are often propagated of what it is not.
Posted by Lane Chaplin at 7:26:00 AM
This sermon along with several others in this series and writings from Spurgeon are what first introduced me to the doctrines of grace (also known as Reformed Theology or Calvinism). Here and in others in the series I may post soon, James White discusses what exactly Reformed Theology is and dispels many of the rumors that are made by opponents to the Reformed faith (or Calvinism). I highly recommend listening to this regardless if you believe you don't need to learn more about the doctrines of grace or if you want to learn more about them.
Posted by Lane Chaplin at 4:26:00 PM
Here is Thomas Watson's classic work "The Ten Commandments." You can download this file as a pdf by going to the link where this is hosted found at the bottom of the document then following the instructions on the iPaper feeder.
Posted by Lane Chaplin at 2:54:00 PM
Again, the grace of God is sovereign. By that word we mean that God has an absolute right to give that grace where he chooses, and to withhold it when he pleases. He is not bound to give it to any man, much less to all men; and if he chooses to give it to one man and not to another, his answer is, "Is thine eye evil because mine eye is good? Can I not do as I will with mine own? I will have mercy on whom I will have mercy." Now, I want you to notice the sovereignty of Divine grace as illustrated in the text: "I was found of them that sought me not, I was made manifest to them that asked not after thee." You would imagine that if God gave his grace to any he would wait until he found them earnestly seeking him. You would imagine that God in the highest heavens would say, "I have mercies, but I will leave men alone, and when they feel their need of these mercies and seek me diligently with their whole heart, day and night, with tears, and vows, and supplications, then will I bless them, but not before." But, beloved, God saith no such thing. It is true he doth bless them that cry unto him, but he blesses them before they cry, for their cries are not their own cries, but cries which he has put into their lips; their desires are not of their own growth, but desires which he has cast like good seed into the soil of their hearts. God saves the men that do not seek him. Oh, wonder of wonders! It is mercy indeed when God saves a seeker; but how much greater mercy when he seeks the lost himself! Mark the parable of Jesus Christ concerning the lost sheep; it does not run thus: "A certain man had a hundred sheep, and one of them did go astray. And he tarried at home, and lo, the sheep came back, and he received it joyfully and said to his friends, rejoice, for the sheep that I have lost is come back." No; he went after the sheep: it never would have come after him; it would have wandered farther and farther away. He went after it; over hills of difficulty, down valleys of despondency he pursued its wandering feet, and at last he laid hold of it; he did not drive it before him, he did not lead it, but he carried it himself all the way, and when he brought it home he did not say, the sheep is come back," but, "I have found the sheep which was lost." Men do not seek God first; God seeks them first; and if any of you are seeking him to-day it is because he has first sought you. If you are desiring him he desired you first, and your good desires and earnest seeking will not be the cause of your salvation, but the effects of previous grace given to you. "Well," says another, "I should have thought that although the Saviour might not require an earnest seeking and sighing and groaning, and a continuous searching, after him, yet certainly he would have desired and demanded that every man, before he had grace, should ask for it." That, indeed, beloved, seems natural, and God will give grace to them that ask for it; but mark, the text says that he was manifested "to them that asked not for him." That is to say, before we ask, God gives us grace. The only reason why any man ever begins to pray is because God has put previous grace in his heart which leads him to pray. I remember, when I was converted to God, I was an Arminian thoroughly. I thought I had begun the good work myself, and I used sometimes to sit down and think, "Well, I sought the Lord four years before I found him," and I think I began to compliment myself upon the fact that I had perseveringly entreated of him in the midst of much discouragement. But one day the thought struck me, "How was it you came to seek God?" and in an instant the answer came from my soul, "Why, because he led me to do it; he must first have shown me my need of him, or else I should never have sought him; he must have shown me his preciousness, or I never should have thought him worth seeking;" and at once I saw the doctrines of grace as clear as possible. God must begin. Nature can never rise above itself. You put water into a reservoir, and it will rise as high as that, but no higher if let alone. Now, it is not in human nature to seek the Lord. Human nature is depraved, and therefore, there must be the extraordinary pressure of the Holy Spirit put upon the heart to lead us first to ask for mercy. But mark, we do not know an thing about that, while the Spirit is operating; we find that out afterwards. We ask as much as if we were asking all of ourselves. Our business is to seek the Lord as if there were no Holy Spirit at all. But although we do not know it, there must always be a previous motion of the Spirit in our heart, before there will be a motion of our heart towards him.
Posted by Lane Chaplin at 4:45:00 PM
ARE YOU SURE YOU LIKE SPURGEON?
"The doctrine of justification itself, as preached by an Arminian, is nothing but the doctrine of salvation by works..." -- C.H. Spurgeon
Praised by many evangelicals as a great preacher, Charles H. Spurgeon is considered a successful and "safe" example of a "non-theological" ministry. His works are recommended as a means to lead many aspiring pastors into developing their own successful ministries. His Lectures to My Students are often used for this purpose, emphasizing the "practical" aspects of evangelism. But while the form of Spurgeon's successful preaching is often studied by would-be pastors, the content of this Christian giant's preaching and teaching is often ignored. Rather Spurgeon is popularly thought to have heartily approved of the same theology that is presently dominating American culture: Arminianism.
Many Christian leaders, for instance, like to point out Spurgeon as one who also had no formal college training. They ignore the fact that he had a personal library containing more that 10,000 books.1 It is further argued that the success of his ministry in the mid-to-late 19th century was due to his anti-intellectual piety, "his yieldedness to the Spirit," and his Arminianism. The fact is, Spurgeon was not anti-intellectual, nor did he entertain delusions of being so holy that he could allow God to work only if he was "yielded." Most importantly, he was not an Arminian. He was a staunch Calvinist who opposed the dominant religious view of his day (and of ours), Arminianism.2 Even toward the end of his life he could write, "From this doctrine I have not departed to this day." 3 He was grateful that he never wavered from his Calvinism.4 "There is no soul living who holds more firmly to the doctrine of grace than do I..."5 Reading Spurgeon's beliefs, one will see that this tremendously fruitful ministry was built upon the preaching of the biblical gospel.
In his work, "A Defence of Calvinism," he states unequivocally: [T]here is no such thing as preaching Christ and Him crucified, unless we preach what nowadays is called Calvinism. It is a nickname to call it Calvinism; Calvinism is the gospel, and nothing else. I do not believe we can preach the gospel, if we do not preach justification by faith, without works; nor unless we preach the sovereignty of God in His dispensation of grace; nor unless we exalt the electing, unchangeable, eternal, immutable, conquering love of Jehovah; nor do I think we can preach the gospel, unless we base it upon the special and particular redemption of His elect and chosen people which Christ wrought out upon the cross; nor can I comprehend a gospel which lets saints fall away after they are called, and suffers the children of God to be burned in the fires of damnation
Here Spurgeon affirms his agreement with what are usually called "The Five Points of Calvinism." Spurgeon's own summation was much shorter: A Calvinist believes that salvation is of the Lord.7 Selections from his sermons and writings on these subjects make his position clear.
Regarding Total Depravity and Irresistible Grace:
When you say, "Can God make me become a Christian?" I tell you yes, for herein rests the power of the gospel. It does not ask your consent; but it gets it. It does not say, "Will you have it?" but it makes you willing in the day of God's power....The gospel wants not your consent, it gets it. It knocks the enmity out of your heart. You say, I do not want to be saved; Christ says you shall be. He makes our will turn round, and then you cry,"'Lord save, or I perish!"8
Regarding Unconditional Election:
I do not hesitate to say, that next to the doctrine of the crucifixion and the resurrection of our blessed Lord--no doctrine had such prominence in the early Christian Church as the doctrine of the election of grace.9 And when confronted with the discomfort this doctrine would bring, he responded with little sympathy: "'I do not like it [divine election],' saith one. Well, I thought you would not; whoever dreamed you would?"10
Regarding Particular Atonement:
[I]f it was Christ's intention to save all men, how deplorably has he been disappointed, for we have His own testimony that there is a lake which burneth with fire and brimstone, and into that pit of woe have been cast some of the very persons who, according to the theory of universal redemption, were bought with His blood.11 (cont...)
He has punished Christ, why should He punish twice for one offence? Christ has died for all His people's sins, and if thou art in the covenant, thou art one of Christ's people. Damned thou canst not be. Suffer for thy sins thou canst not. Until God can be unjust, and demand two payments for one debt, He cannot destroy the soul for whom Jesus died.12
Regarding the Perseverance of the Saints:
I do not know how some people, who believe that a Christian can fall from grace, manage to be happy. It must be a very commendable thing in them to be able to get through a day without despair. If I did not believe in the doctrine of the final perseverance of the saints, I think I should be of all men most miserable, because I should lack any ground of comfort.13 The selections above indicate that C. H. Spurgeon was without a doubt an affirmed, self-professing Calvinist who made his ministry's success dependent upon truth, unwilling to consider the "Five Points of Calvinism" as separate, sterile categories to be memorized and believed in isolation from each other or Scripture. He often blended the truths represented by the Five Points, because they actually are mutually supportive parts of a whole, and not five little sections of faith added to one's collection of Christian beliefs. Spurgeon never presented them as independent oddities to be believed as the sum of Christianity. Rather, he preached a positive gospel, ever mindful that these beliefs were only part of the whole counsel of God and not the sum total. These points were helpful, defensive summaries, but they did not take the place of the vast theater of redemption within which God's complete and eternal plan was worked out in the Old and New Testaments.
Certain that the Cross was an offense and stumbling block, Spurgeon was unwilling to make the gospel more acceptable to the lost. "The old truth that Calvin preached, that Augustine preached, is the truth that I must preach today, or else be false to my conscience and to God. I cannot shape the truth; I know of no such thing as paring off the rough edges of a doctrine."14 Elsewhere he challenged "I cannot find in Scripture any other doctrine than this. It is the essence of the Bible....Tell me anything contrary to this truth, and it will be heresy..."15 Spurgeon believed that the price of ridicule and rejection was not counted so high that he should refuse to preach this gospel: "[W]e are reckoned the scum of creation; scarcely a minister looks on us or speaks favorable of us, because we hold strong vies upon the divine sovereignty of God, and his divine electings and special love towards His own people."16
Then, as now, the dominant objection to such preaching was that it would lead to licentious living. Since Christ "did it all," there was no need for them to obey the commands of Scripture. Aside from the fact that we should not let sinful people decide what kind of gospel we will preach, Spurgeon had his own rebuttals to this confusion:
[I]t is often said that the doctrines we believe have a tendency to lead us to sin....I ask the man who dares to say that Calvinism is a licentious religion, what he thinks of the character of Augustine, or Calvin, or Whitefield, who in successive ages were the great exponents of the systems of grace; or what will he say of the Puritans, whose works are full of them? Had a man been an Arminian in those days, he would have been accounted the vilest heretic breathing, but now we are looked upon as the heretics, and they as orthodox. We have gone back to the old school; we can trace our descent from the apostles....We can run a golden line up to Jesus Christ Himself, through a holy succession of mighty fathers, who all held these glorious truths; and we can ask concerning them, "Where will you find holier and better men in the world?"17
His attitude toward those who would distort the gospel for their own ideas of "holiness" is clear from the following: No doctrine is so calculated to preserve a man from sin as the doctrine of the grace of God. Those who have called it 'a licentious doctrine' did not know anything at all about it. Poor ignorant things, they little knew that their own vile stuff was the most licentious doctrine under Heaven.18
According to Spurgeon (and Scripture as well), the response of gratitude is the motive for holy living, not the uncertain status of the believer under the influence of Arminianism and its accompanying legalism. "The tendency of Arminianism is towards legality; it is nothing but legality which lays at the root of Arminianism."19 He was very clear on the dangerous relationship of Arminianism to legalism: "Do you not see at once that this is legality--that this is hanging our salvation upon our work--that this is making our eternal life to depend upon something we do? Nay, the doctrine of justification itself, as preached by an Arminianism, is nothing but the doctrine of salvation by works...."20
A status before God based upon how we "use" Christ and the Spirit to feign righteousness was a legalism hated by Spurgeon. As in our day, Spurgeon saw that one of the strongholds of Arminianism included the independent churches.21 Arminianism was a natural, God-rejecting, self-exalting religion and heresy.22 As Spurgeon believed, we are born Arminians by nature.23 He saw this natural aversion to God as encouraged by believing self-centered, self-exalting fancies. "If you believe that everything turns upon the free-will of man, you will naturally have man as its principal figure in your landscape."24 And again he affirms the remedy for this confusion to be true doctrine. "I believe that very much of current Arminianism is simply ignorance of gospel doctrine."25 Further, "I do not serve the god of the Arminians at all; I have nothing to do with him, and I do not bow down before the Baal they have set up; he is not my God, nor shall he ever be; I fear him not, nor tremble at his presence...The God that saith today and denieth tomorrow, that justifieth today and condemns the next...is no relation to my God in the least degree. He may be a relation of Ashtaroth or Baal, but Jehovah never was or can be his name."26 Refusing to compromise the gospel in any way, he soundly refuted and rejected common attempts to unite Calvinism and Arminianism into a synthesized belief. Nor would he downplay the importance of the differences between the two systems:
This may seem to you to be of little consequence, but it really is a matter of life and death. I would plead with every Christian--think it over, my dear brother. When some of us preach Calvinism, and some Arminianism, we cannot both be right; it is of not use trying to think we can be--'Yes,' and 'no,' cannot both be true.Truth does not vacillate like the pendulum which shakes backwards and forwards....One must be right; the other wrong.27
1. Walter A. Elwell, ed. Evangelical Dictonary of Theology (Grand Rapids,
Michigan: Baker Book House, 1984), s.v. "Spurgeon, Charles Haddon," by J. E. Johnson. 2. From sermon cited in Iain Murray, The Forgotten Spurgeon, 2d ed., (Carlisle, PA: Banner of Truth, 1986), 52. 3. "A Defense of Calvinism," by C. H. Spurgeon, in C. H. Spurgeon Autobiography, eds. S. Spurgeon and J. Harrold, Rev ed., vol I, The Early Years 1834-1859 (Carlisle, PA: Banner of Truth, 1976: reprint), 165. 4. J. E. Johnson, 1051 5. Spurgeon, "A Defense of Calvinism," 173. 6. Ibid. 168. 7. Ibid., 168. 8. As cited in Murray, 93. 9. From a sermon cited in Murray, Ibid., 44. 10. Ibid., 60. 11. Spurgeon, 172. 12. From a sermon cited in Murray, 245. 13. Spurgeon, 169. 14. Ibid., 162. 15. Ibid., 168. 16. Murray, 168. 17. Spurgeon, 174. 18. Ibid. 19. Murray, 79. 20. Ibid., 81. 21. Murray, 53. 22. spurgeon, 168. 23. Ibid., 164. 24. Murray, 111. 25. Ibid., 68. 26. Spurgeon's Sermons, vol. 6 (Baker, 1989), p.241 27. Murray, op. cit., 57.
Murray, Iain. The Forgotten Spurgeon, 2d ed. Carlisle, PA: Banner of Truth Trust, 1986; reprint. Spurgeon, Charles H. "A Defence of Calvinism" in C. H. Spurgeon Autobiography. Edited by S. Spurgeon and J. Harrald. Rev. ed. Vol I, The Early Years 1834-1859. Carlisle, PA: Banner of Truth Trust, 1976; reprint. Spurgeon, Charles H. New Park Street Pulpit. A collection of his sermons. Spurgeon, Charles H. Metropolitan Tabernacle Pulpit. A collection of his sermons.
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Posted by Lane Chaplin at 7:56:00 PM
I saw the following clip last night and couldn't help but be enamored with how depraved the human race actually is. People who love their sin become so wicked and complacent that they do things like... watch people die right in front of them without even the first inclination of helping them.
(WARNING: This video is disturbing.)
Posted by Lane Chaplin at 7:28:00 AM